Nowak's 25 Navigates Warriors Past Raiders In NACC First Round

Photo Credit: Jeff Wilson
Photo Credit: Jeff Wilson

MILWAUKEE (WLCSports.com) – Chase Nowak (Milwaukee, Wis./St. Francis) scored a game-high 25 points to lead four starters in double-figures as the Wisconsin Lutheran College men's basketball team won a thrilling 76-73 NACC Tournament First Round game over MSOE on Wednesday night inside the Recreation Complex. It marks the Warriors' first conference tournament win in their previous four appearances in the NACC Tournament.

THE BASICS

  • Final Score: No. 4 Wisconsin Lutheran 76, No. 5 MSOE 73
  • Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (16-10), MSOE (12-13)
  • Location: Recreation Complex, Milwaukee, Wis. | Attendance: 301

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Warriors jumped out to an early 10-3 lead just over four minutes into the game, but MSOE rallied to take the 11-10 lead with 12:31 remaining in the first half.
  • The Raiders opened up their largest lead of the game, six points, at the 9:20 mark, but a quick 6-0 run sparked by Nowak knotted the game at 20-20.
  • Nowak gave the hosts the lead at 30-29 and the Warriors would never trail the rest of the game.
  • Wisconsin Lutheran led 40-31 at the half. WLC shot 48.4 percent from the field in the opening half in comparison to MSOE's 44.4 percent. The Warriors forced 12 turnovers and Nowak had 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting in the first half.
  • WLC extended its lead to double-digits for the first time after a Christian Kennedy (Holmen, Wis./Luther) three-pointer from the corner at the 16:35 mark.
  • The Raiders, sparked by Collin Seubert, used an 8-0 rally to close the gap to just three points, 48-45, with 13:23 left in regulation.
  • Seubert brought the WLC lead down to just one point at the 9:20 mark, but WLC never surrendered the lead. Tyler De Young (Waupun, Wis./Central Wisconsin Christian) connected on two free throws and then a three-point basket on back-to-back possessions to pad the lead to eight points with 7:03 to play.
  • Down the stretch, the Warriors' defense stood tall. WLC forced a tough miss on a fade away with 0:17 seconds left, and after a pair of Nowak free throws to take a three-point lead, forced a missed three-pointer with three seconds left.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Nowak scored 25 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the field and recorded three steals. Collin Kennedy (Holmen, Wis./Luther) posted his seventh straight double-double with 18 points and 14 boards.
  • Tanner Schieve (Slinger, Wis./Slinger) handed out eight assists while scoring 15 points and grabbing six rebounds. De Young was a rebound shy of a double-double, finishing with nine boards and 11 points.
  • The Warriors shot 44.1 percent (26-for-59) for the game, while MSOE finished shooting 41 percent (25-for-61) from the floor. 
  • WLC's defense held the Raiders to just 3-for-21 from behind the arc.
  • The Raiders held the advantage on the boards (40-37), bench points (18-4), and points in the paint (40-30), but Wisconsin Lutheran turned 15 turnovers into 17 points.
  • MSOE was led by Seubert, who finished with 20 points, nine rebounds, four assists, four blocks, and three steals.
  • WLC has shot at least 40 percent in every game during its current five-game winning streak. 
  • The Warriors' 16 wins are their most since the 2007-2008 squad finished with 18. 
  • Wisconsin Lutheran wraps up its home slate with a 9-3 record on its home court.

UP NEXT

  • The Warriors advance to play top-seeded and 11th-ranked Benedictine (21-4, 19-1 NACC) on Friday at 7:00 p.m. in a NACC Semifinal matchup in Lisle, Ill. The nationally-ranked Eagles, who have won 10 straight games, won both matchups this season with the most recent coming in Lisle on February 4, 79-58. Links to live stats and video will be available at WLCSports.com.